Your smartphone does not only give you advises regarding your finances but also sun-protection for your skin. Here comes one of a smart app, Solar Cell that provides personalized. real-time advice to improve your sun protection behavior.
The Solar Cell app provides sun-protection advice based on the UV Index Forecasts and some inputs of personal information from the users. It guides the users to apply or re-apply sunscreen.
This guidance app was developed by Klein Buendel, Colorado, under a contract with the National Cancer Institute in USA. David B Buller along with various other scientists conducted a randomized clinical trial in 2012 that enrolled 604 participants and of the 305 individuals in the treatment group 232 people downloaded the app but only 125 individuals (41%) used it.
Studies were conducted with the help of participants in the treatment group (222 nos) who spent more time in the shade but used less sunscreen than those in the control group (232 nos). The findings showed no significant difference in the number of sunburns in the three months times between the groups.
Users of Solar Cell app reported using all the protection measures (sunscreen, protective clothing and shades) and spending less time in the sun. Specifically, it increased the use of shade that serve to considerably reduce exposure to sun’s UV radiation.
Another study was conducted to ensure the app maintained the desired effect by Dr. Buller, but this time with 202 volunteers. Ninety-six participants were assigned to the treatment group and seventy-four reported using the app, increasing the app’s use in this study to 77%. After a seven week follow-up, users seemed to be more inclined to wear wide-brimmed hats at 23.8% while non-users claimed only 17% in this category. Women seemed to be more in number to use the app and use sun protection when compared with Men.
The details regarding the whether it is a free or paid app is still not clear.
While these kind of apps may prove useful at keeping sun’s detrimental effects at bay, the popularity and number of users to download this app is still a debate. For the applications to be used effectively to the general population, more strategies are needed to position the mobile application. Though many upcoming applications have proved that health practices can be made through mobile phones with great deal of appeal, but it is still unclear if Solar Cell could be one of it.